Customer Centricity – What a fail by Toshiba

I’m not really sure who’s fail this is, as I don’t like pointing finger at anyone and am quite sure that all players in this chain have “logical” explanation, but in the bottom line, it is Toshiba’s responsibility and definitely deserves attention as a great example of how a great company can fail in customer focus/relations/centricity.

So, what happened was that a friend bought a Toshiba laptop with Windows Vista pre-installed and with a free upgrade to Windows 7 Home Premium Edition. A free upgrade sounds very good, especially since Win7 is far better option then Vista, easier to use, faster, more secure etc…
And doing the actual upgrade should be really easy, shouldn’t it? I mean, the year is 2010, even in Serbia a lot of people have a good internet connection and downloading the upgrade file should not be a big deal… Or the company itself should offer free upgrade service to it’s clients. Not a big deal really…

However, it is not that easy as it sounds, apparently… He was told that he will be contacted regarding the upgrade and 2 weeks later he was contacted by DHL and gets this:


If you can’t see it properly, it’s a ~77 EUR bill, and it came with an information that you additionally have to pay customs, VAT and if you don’t have your own carrier, they will use their daughter company (or something) and will charge you extra 5.000 RSD (~50 EUR).
Simple math told him that this “free” upgrade will cost him around 14.000 RSD (~140 EUR) which is 2.000 RSD (~20 EUR) more then buying a Full Home Premium version od Win7 in Belgrade. Just how stupid and illogical does this sound?
Of course, he sent them an e-mail to return the shipment…

I don’t know anyone in Toshiba Serbia, but would be cool if this post somehow reaches someone there, and would be even more cool if that someone contacted me to get this friend’s contacts and actually tried to fix this problem (regardless of who in the chain has actually failed).

(Funnily enough, this example came just in time when a company I work for is pointing out customer centricity as one of our major focuses, so I’ll use this as a very good example)


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  8. Will you be using any positive examples of customer centricity and are there any on the Serbian market? (And I don't mean the ones who just use "customer oriented" it in their taglines and ads) Here's one of my favorite examples:

    • good question.. is there any?
      honestly, the only one I can think of is a local grocery store in my neighborhood – the owner is really trying hard to learn about the neighbors and offer us what we need… 🙂

      Nows I'm thinking about large companies in Serbia and I cannot think of any that really does what it preaches… If I bump into one, I'll be happy to write about it 🙂

  9. horrible tale… and as a Toshiba user, with (&*!!!!) Vista pre-installed, I can only sympathise. Not sure about their possible involvement, but I do know that Toshiba warranties are handled in Belgrade by Sytem One – email is Good luck!

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